Tips for Creating a Visitation Schedule

Working with a former spouse to come up with a visitation schedule for the children can be a stressful event. While you want to do what’s best for the children, you also want to have as much time with them as possible. The thing to keep in mind is your former spouse has those same goals. By working together, you can come up with the right schedule for your family. The following are some tips to get you started.

Be Respectful

Respect can go a long way toward getting time with your children and teaching them good values in the process. If your former spouse has an nontraditional work schedule, you may have to respect that and go with an nontraditional visitation schedule as well. Keep in mind holidays are more fun for children if they can experience them with their entire family, and there are a few ways you can go about doing that. You could either switch off every year, or have half days of each holiday each year. Respect your child’s feelings and see which option might sound more appealing to him or her.

Encourage Normalcy

You never want visitation to feel like a chore. This is going to be your child’s new normal and you should work hard to help him or her adjust to that. If your child normally has extracurricular activities on Wednesdays after school, don’t schedule that day for visitation to make the child choose between the activity or the other parent. Instead, allow your child to continue his or her regular activities and schedule visitation for another day. Once you have a schedule in place, treat every day as you did before. For example, if you didn’t normally take your child out to eat every night, don’t start doing it during visitation.

Keep Communication Open

When creating a visitation schedule, it’s important to keep communication open between you and your former spouse. If it helps to have a mediator or a lawyer in the room, be sure you have someone you can trust to be present for the meeting. If a part of the schedule doesn’t feel right to you, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns until things have been resolved.

Contacting a Lawyer to Get Started

If you are in a situation in which you need to work out a visitation schedule, your lawyer may be able to help. Contact a divorce lawyer today to get started.